Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world: 

  • Mobile data application provider Onavo closed a $3 million Series A financing round led by Sequoia Capital and Magma Venture Partners
  • iOS publisher/analytics provider Fuse Powered raises a $2 million seed round of funding led by BlackBerry Partners Fund and NFQ Ventures
  • WaterSmart Software, a water efficiency startup, has closed a $900,000 seed round of financing led by Menlo Incubator
  • Saygent, a SaaS startup that helps companies figure out the sentiment behind customer voice responses, has raised $1 million in seed funding
  • Brighter.com, a website that allows people to compare dentists based on reputation & price, raises $5m Series A funding led by Mayfield Fund
  • Axxun Inc has closed its second $100,000 angel investment under the State of Connecticut’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program
  • VYou, the developer of a conversational video platform, wins $3 million Series A financing led by RRE Ventures & Highland Capital Partners
  • Unsocial, a business networking tool that enables people to find each other based on search criteria and proximity, obtains seed funding
  • A new social travel start-up Gtrot, has raised seed funding from Lightbank, the venture firm that invested early in Groupon
  • Mobile social network Parlor.fm closed angel funding from investment group ALM UNLTD that has made $500,000 available for its launch
  • Startup Impact Dialing has received an undisclosed amount of angel funding from the Band of Angels group for its cloud-based auto-dialer
  • Server Density, the server monitoring tool, has secured £135k angel funding from Christoph Janz, Qamar Aziz, Kyle McGinn and Distilled.net
  • Jeevanti Healthcare, who are looking to start small-scale or secondary hospitals in Maharashtra and Gujarat, wins $2.2m from Seedfund

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

A BBC survey has suggested Indonesia is the best place for entrepreneurs to start a business

Indonesia is the best place for entrepreneurs to start a business, a BBC survey has suggested.

The US, Canada, India and Australia are seen as among the next best countries at supporting new businesses.

At the other extreme, Colombia, Egypt, Turkey, Italy and Russia are among the least entrepreneur-friendly.

The results come from a survey of more than 24,000 people across 24 countries.

Index derived from the mean scores (on a scale from 1 to 4) of four questions:

  • valuation of creativity/innovation in own country
  • difficulty to start own business in country
  • valuation of people who start own business
  • ease of putting ideas into practice

5 great ways to find funding for your company

In the past, it was more difficult to find angel investors because most deals were regional. However, now that it is so much cheaper and easier to communicate nationally and internationally, angels are starting to look at investment opportunities further afield.  It’s also much easier for angels to find investment opportunities outside their own area thanks to the Internet, incubators, demo days, and blogs that cover the scene. The most important question for entrepreneurs looking for funding is “how and where can I find these investors?”.

Angel Associations and Networks

Most countries have a national association for angel investment groups (e.g. The US has the Angel Capital Association (http://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/) and the UK has the British Business Angels Association. The World Business Association lists some of them and you’ll be able to find more by searching the web.  Most of these organisations will be able to give you a list of angel networks, and maybe even someone to contact about your funding request.

LinkedIn

Through Linkedin you can even do targeted searches for angel investors (by name, keyword, region etc).  For example, Reid Hoffman (unsurprisingly since he’s the founder), Esther Dyson and Peter Thiel to name a few, are all members of Linkedin. However, as most angels and angel groups receive masses of messages daily, they probably don’t reply to everyone. Also, a lot of angels and angel groups don’t like receiving unsolicited emails through social media platforms and this tactic could be seen as the social media equivalent of “cold calling”. I’d suggest joining one of the many LinkedIn groups that focus on angel investing.  You can post an outline your investment opportunity and people can get in touch with you for more details if they like the look of it.

Twitter

It’s no great surprise that angel investors also use Twitter.  For example, Ron Conway, Chris Sacca and Jeff Clavier are all big Tweeters. Twitter offers a great channel to share information about your venture and to generate buzz. The aim is to get yourself noticed and build a brand that investors believe in and are interested in.

Websites

There are a few websites (like our very own!) that allow investors the opportunity to look at startups that need capital. These sites are probably the most targeted way to find funding, as your executive summary is promoted to hundreds of business angels at once.  You also don’t have to worry about sending unsolicited messages, as all the investor members on these networks are actively looking for investment opportunities.  Most of these sites have a national focus, but Angel Investment Network has 25,000 investors and 30 networks worldwide, so you can find angels from around the world.  At the top right corner of www.angelinvestmentnetwork.net, you’ll find a drop-down list with all our sites so you can find the one closest to you.

Incubators

Incubators and startup accelerators are becoming increasingly popular as a source of early-stage funding. Some examples include Techstars, 500 Startups and Y Combinator – the latter has funded over 300 startups since 2005. A further benefit is that they’ll also provide valuable advice, support and resources to drive your business forward.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has managed to raise capital.  How did you do it?

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News 

Business Plans & Pitching

Fund Raising

Marketing & Social Media

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

A roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:  

  • We’re delighted to announce that Blottr.com, a user generated news service created to empower anyone to break and make the news, has raised a £250,000 investment through Angel Investment Network
  • GridGlo, who provides applications & data collected from smart meters and other sources to utilities & software developers, has won $1.2m
  • MediaRoost has raised $500,000 in seed funding to build out the company’s enterprise Twitter Management tool, TweetRoost
  • Stealth eCommerce startup Inporia raises $1.25m pre-launch funding from Ron Conway, 500 Startups, Y Combinator & Start Fund, among others
  • Typesafe win $3m from Facebook & Google executives and Greylock Partners to commercialize an open-source computer programming language
  • Tap.Me, a mobile advertising start-up, has raised $1.4 million in Series A funding. The group of investors included Rockfish Brand Ventures
  • San Francisco-based Concurrent has raised $900,000 seed funding to help businesses process large data sets
  • Equipio – the social shopping website – has secured £100k of first round funding through a syndicate of London Business Angels investors
  • Claritics, a next-generation social intelligence company, has received $1.5 million Series A financing led by Cervin Ventures & TiE Angels
  • Figment, a site to share writing, connect with other readers and discover new stories & authors, wins $1m in funding from an angel investor
  • Outright.com, the easiest way for self-employed people to manage their bookkeeping, secures $ 2 million in seed funding
  • Energy management & storage startup VCharge has won $150,000 seed funding from the Slater Technology Fund, an early-stage state-backed fund
  • Resolve Therapeutics has raised $2 million Series A financing from New York-based venture firms New Science Ventures and Easton Capital.
  • TurningArt, a startup that aims bring a Netflix-like model to the art world, has secured $750,000 in seed funding led by NextView Ventures
  • NextSpace, who has developed an office where work-at-homers, entrepreneurs & freelancers can work productively, raises $625k angel funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

8 great ways to drive traffic to your website for free

1. Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is the process that helps you in improving your search engine ranking to drive increased traffic to your site. You need to add good content to your website because content is king in SEO.  Having chosen the keywords you wish to be found on in search engines, scatter them throughout the content of your pages. This increases the relevancy of your site and thus the ranking in the various search engines like Yahoo, Google and MSN.  Keywords are most powerful when they are placed in titles, headers, urls, and image names.

2. Submit an Online Press Release:

Issuing press releases online is one of the best ways that exists to spread the word about your business for absolutely free.  Take some time and put together an interesting piece and forward it to the many online press release companies. A good story quite often gets picked up by bigger news agencies and publications, so your business can get really good coverage – you could be amazed at the results.

3. Article Writing

Website owners and email publishers are often looking for original content. By writing industry specific articles, not only do you get the reputation of an expert, but you also get great exposure. Always include a link back to your web site in the article. Articles written for specific websites that your target audience views can be highly effective.

4. Start a Blog

Starting a blog is a great way of engaging your existing audience as well as attracting new customers. Using free software from WordPress (www.WordPress.com), Blogger (www.Blogger.com) or other companies, you can develop and publish a simple blog in just a few hours. When you publish a great post, you’ll not only get your name out there and get a nice SEO benefit, you’ll also drive interest to your business to learn more about where all your awesome ideas came from.

5. Social Media

Social media is a great way of engaging your existing audience as well as attracting new customers. Rather than merely selling to your customers, social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc) allows you to communicate with them and opens the door for them to communicate with you. The more relationships with people interested in your niche, the more sales you’ll inevitably make. Your website should be linked to your social networking sites and vice-versa.

6. Participate in Forums

Online forums are used and viewed by hundreds of people, so keep an eye out for forum posts based around your industry. Participate in these forums through making relevant posts, giving advice and answering questions. Wherever possible add your web address to the end of your post. The more you participate and share your experience, the more people gain trust and go to you for questions.

7. Launch an Affiliate Programme

Offer rewards (financial or other) to existing users or companies in a similar space who refer new members to your site.

8. Cross Promotion:

Find non-competing companies in your industry and suggest doing reciprocal mailouts or adding links on your websites to drive traffic both ways.  However, make sure it’s a service or product your clients will be genuinely interested in or they’ll just think it’s spam.  Also, be careful not to send too many mailouts or you’ll start to irritate your members. For links, avoid link farms and link exchanges with non-relevant sites.

We always welcome your comments? Which marketing techniques been particularly successful for your business?

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News 

Business Plans & Pitching

  • Harvard have put together a nice little tool that walks you through the process of writing an elevator pitch: http://bit.ly/mkDio5
  • Video: Women for Hire CEO Tory Johnson on the steps to writing a business plan for a small business: http://bit.ly/jQhC0K
  • Startup Business Plan – How an Investor will Evaluate your Plan: http://bit.ly/iXTgaL
  • 10 Rules For Writing a Powerful Executive Summary: http://bit.ly/kBAgzq

Fund Raising

Marketing & Social Media

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.